Cottonwood Bark, Indian Carving

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Project by Josh Carte posted 06-16-2014 11:24 PM 4286 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I carved this Native American from a piece of Cottonwood bark. I shaped and painted this piece of bark entirely by hand. This carving measures 9” tall x 4” wide x 2 1/2” thick. Cottonwood bark is very soft to carve, but soft doesn’t mean simple. There is very little room for error when carving bark because if you are too aggressive it is very easy to do some serious damage. It’s never fun to begin a carving and then accidentally slice off the entire nose haha. I paint using acrylics and acrylic washes. I prefer a matte finish on my carvings, so I finish with one coat of spray lacquer to protect the paint. I like this fella’- hope you do, as well… Have a good one!


18 comments so far

View Dj1225's profile


75 posts in 3102 days

#1 posted 06-16-2014 11:46 PM

Wow that is impressive.

-- Dave

View Josh Carte's profile

Josh Carte

590 posts in 2562 days

#2 posted 06-17-2014 12:14 AM

Thank you very much, Dave :)


View Northwest29's profile


1704 posts in 3372 days

#3 posted 06-17-2014 12:23 AM

Amazing detail in that face – well done!!

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View PaulDoug's profile


2394 posts in 2585 days

#4 posted 06-17-2014 01:08 AM

Josh, like I said once before, “you are my wood carving idol”! I love your stuff. You are very talented, for sure.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2431 days

#5 posted 06-17-2014 01:15 AM

Nice! Josh your last two carvings, the eyes are dead on. You absolutely nailed the paint.

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2706 days

#6 posted 06-17-2014 01:17 AM

Another great carving Josh….always enjoy seeing your work…..thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View oldrivers's profile


2314 posts in 2448 days

#7 posted 06-17-2014 02:00 AM

Amazing! You bet I like this guy having Native American ancestors I am partial to these carvings you capture the sense of deep thought and concern. Great job.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Josh Carte's profile

Josh Carte

590 posts in 2562 days

#8 posted 06-17-2014 02:50 AM

Thank you all very much :) As I’ve been in the process of gradually getting better at carving these spirits and developing my own style, I’ve hoped and sometimes thought that I will get faster with each carving…. and I’ve learned that I am getting slower :)

Oldrivers, I’ve recently learned that I have quite a bit of Native heritage as well- my great grandmother was Blackfoot and my great, great grandmother was full-blooded Cherokee. Can’t tell it in me though- I just look like some white guy haha.

I appreciate you all!


View Dutchy's profile


3827 posts in 3050 days

#9 posted 06-17-2014 04:44 AM

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30568 posts in 3220 days

#10 posted 06-17-2014 09:30 AM

Really nice work sir.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3070 days

#11 posted 06-17-2014 12:55 PM


You are an incredible artist. The expressions and facial features you capture are stunning. Your painting skills are extraordinary. I love studying your masterpieces.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Josh Carte's profile

Josh Carte

590 posts in 2562 days

#12 posted 06-17-2014 02:45 PM

Thank you all so much :)


View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4467 days

#13 posted 06-17-2014 06:40 PM

Very and truly enjoyable carving well done. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View DominicsWoodworks's profile


19 posts in 2383 days

#14 posted 06-17-2014 07:40 PM

Who needs a 3D printer if you have carving skills like that? Impressive, thanks for sharing!

-- Dominic's Woodworks -

View ivan's profile


44 posts in 4016 days

#15 posted 06-18-2014 03:39 AM

Josh, I love that the face has so much expression and feeling! You are really a master.

-- Ivan, Bay Area, California

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